Rotterdam is one of Europe’s biggest ports. It is the second-largest city in the Netherlands, and a vital component in the national economy. Rotterdam is important, as a port and as a city, not just to the Netherlands but to all of Europe. Here is a look at some of the factors which make Rotterdam remarkable.
Rotterdam is the largest deep-water port in Europe. It has an extremely well-equipped modern harbor. It is the largest of its kind on the continent, and ranks among the top 10 worldwide. 30,000 maritime vessels and 105,000 inland waterway vessels call at the Port of Rotterdam each year. In 2019 Rotterdam handled 441 million tonnes of freight. This was more than double compared to Antwerp (Eurostat, April 2020). The port of Rotterdam ranks among the top 3 bunkering ports worldwide, with 2,000 bunker deliveries each month. The port handles a wide range of fuels from fuel oil to biofuels. Rotterdam is the first port in Europe where liquefied natural gas (LNG) can be bunkered.
The success of Rotterdam’s logistics industry is partly due to its prime location. 30 km from the North Sea, it gives access to the Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt delta. The city has a web of railroads, waterways, and roads, earning it the nickname “Gateway to Europe.” Researchers at the Erasmus University Rotterdam recorded that the direct and indirect value added by Rotterdam port amounts to EUR 22 billion yearly. This amounts to 3.7% of Netherlands’ GDP. The port creates as many as 145,000 jobs.
The cosmopolitan aspect
Rotterdam is home to many ethnicities. Some of these include Surinamese (8.9%), Moroccan (6.7%), and Antillean (3.6%). Merely 50% of the city’s population is Dutch. 45% of the residents of Rotterdam are foreign-born. Rotterdam has a significant proportion of Muslims. They make up almost 13% of the population. Rotterdam also has the largest Dutch Antillean community. The port of Rotterdam is a dynamic, multicultural environment. 180,000 people work here every day.
Rotterdam attracts a very large international community. Expat professionals regularly send remittances back to their home countries via the Ria Money Transfer App and other channels. In addition to the port, multinationals like Unilever, Eneco, Coolblue, and Roboco generate sizable employment opportunities. Hundreds of thousands flock to the city seeking jobs. This is a contributing factor to Rotterdam’s unemployment rate of 3.2% in 2019. The presence of world-renowned universities like the Erasmus University, Willem de Kooning Academy, and Codarts ensures that employers in the city have access to a well-educated workforce. Rotterdam is also a popular stopover for tourists. The city is known for its shopping, museums, unique architecture, and restaurants.
Outlook for the future
As one of the world’s leading ports Rotterdam aims to be among the smartest. The Port of Rotterdam Authority welcomes energy transition, digitization, and innovation. Logistics chains passing through Rotterdam are becoming more efficient, reliable, and competitive. The Port Authority is working with the business community and the government to create a future-proof port. It will be a place where businesses can flourish. These businesses will create wealth and jobs. The Port Authority has plans to achieve these goals while minimizing the impacts on climate and nature. The port is working towards a carbon-neutral status. The measures which will help meet this goal include efficiency in infrastructure, transitioning to a new energy system, and a new raw materials and fuel system.
Continuous renewal is taking place at the Port of Rotterdam. Constant improvement and innovations increase the international competitiveness of the port. The Netherlands provides firms and consumers optimal access to global markets. The construction of a new port area called the Maasvlakte 2 is planned. This will involve infrastructure investment to the tune of EUR 2.9 billion. Eventually it will create 10,000 new jobs.
About the author:
Hemant G is a contributing writer at Sparkwebs LLC, a Digital and Content Marketing Agency. When he’s not writing, he loves to travel, scuba dive, and watch documentaries.